Maurice Quinlivan TD- Árd Fhéis Speech on Water Charges
The provision of sufficient water and sanitation is an essential public service. It is a human right recognised by the United Nations. It should be freely available to all of our citizens.
Water charges discriminate against working people and the unemployed in favour of the wealthy. They are another regressive tax taking vital money out of the pockets of people and out of our economy. Our public water system is already paid for through general taxation which is progressive and we wish it to remain that way.
Sinn Féin are a key component of the Right2Water campaign which has mobilised 10s of thousands of people across this state to oppose this odious charge.
We remain committed to abolish household water charges. Furthermore, we said we would not pursue any citizen or household who has not paid.
We have placed a number of Dail Motions to repeal this brutal legislation. If passed these will consign domestic water charges to the dustbin of history. Unlike the Labour Party we do not make promises that we will not keep.
90% of water used in this country is used by big corporations, while only 10% is used by ordinary householders.
But under the outgoing Governments plans householders will bear 80% of the costs.
This is daylight robbery of ordinary citizens in order to subsidise water for Big Business and set the stage for privatisation.
We need to remain focussed and not be fooled by Fianna Fáil and their born again mantra of being against the charges.
They invented the charges.
They signed up to them with the Troika. And cabinet papers have revealed they intended to charge every household €500 for water.
The new fudge of waivers and allowances cooked up between the 2 establishment parties gives us the opportunity to push on and defeat water charges once and for all.
Let us make sure that through working together that’s exactly what we do!
The people voted with their feet through Right2Water, they made their voice heard again at the ballot box. Irish water and water charges must go and they must go now.
Any government which fails to do this, will have failed the Irish people